President Vladimir Putin met with Internet entrepreneurs on Nov.5 and has granted startup projects about $930,000. Source: Konstantin Zavrazhin / RG
A new, Kremlin-sponsored fund created to help Internet entrepreneurs has granted 32 startup projects with 1 million rubles, or $31,000, each as part of an ongoing investment into developing Russia’s small businesses potential, the press service announced.
President Vladimir Putin met on Nov. 5 with the grantees, each of whom was selected by the Internet Activities Development Fund, or Fond Razvitiya Internet-Initsiativ (FRII). The projects receiving funding included an online training program for the Unified State Examination, and a system that can identify video footage from street cameras and call emergency services automatically.
Kirill Varlamov, the head of FRII, said the fund received applications from more than 200 Russian cities for the grants. The 32 selected projects were given investments of $3,100 up front and have been given the opportunity to work in Moscow.
He noted that the majority of the start-ups were linked to automating business processes, but there were also a large number of education, e-commerce and consumer sector projects.
Aside from the 32 projects selected, which will be allocated finance from the fund, several dozen projects will be given remote access to educational programs and consultations with experts.
The three-year fund will finance a total of 400 projects in the initial stages, 80 more developed projects and 40 established projects. The fund is planning to sell its share in these projects no later than five years from now and invest the proceeds in new start-ups.
“If the guy’s performance indicators are good, then in the end they will be noticed at the so-called Investors Day and will be able to take part in the next round and bid for investments of up to 15 billion roubles’ ($464.4 million),” Varlamov said.
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